I have an idea I would like to patent. I have not started working on the idea yet (and I'll swear to that in court). How best to keep my job without losing my intellectual property rights?
The idea is completely independent of my work, however it would be a software patent and I work as a software developer. No proprietary employer information or equipment would be used to develop the idea.
I have signed a non-compete with my employer (I am not in California), but have not signed any documents assigning intellectual property to my employer. I have asked my employer to clarify their policy regarding intellectual property, and they responded with a typical statement that work derived from proprietary knowledge or equipment gained from employment belongs to the company. However I have not signed any document to this effect.
Does anyone know the jurisprudence on this? Is assignment of IP non-existent unless specified in an employment contract, or can it be implied by employment as my employer has said?
Keep in mind my work would be orthogonal to my company's work, but I just want to make sure I should not quit my job before embodying my invention just to be safe.